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The PossibleA Sociocultural Theory$
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Vlad P. Glăveanu

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197520499

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197520499.001.0001

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(p.26) 2 Difference
The Possible

Vlad P. Glăveanu

Oxford University Press

This chapter proposes difference as an engine of possibility, in particular self–other differences. The presentation starts with a discussion of developmental trajectories defining our awareness of differences and our reaction to them from an early age. This developmental perspective raises a concern for intersubjectivity or the constitution of the self through engagement with the difference of others. It is important that, in the process of establishing intersubjective bounds, the “otherness” of the other is not fully appropriated by the self but leaves space for surprise, new understandings, and, with them, new possibilities. These reflections shed a new light on discussions of diversity: its benefits but also the challenges it poses in today’s fragmented, polarized world. In summary, this chapter outlines the notion of differences in perspective as fundamental to becoming aware of and exploring an expanded field of possibilities for both self and other.

Keywords:   difference, diversity, intersubjectivity, self, other, otherness, possibility

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